Shades and Blinds for Skylights


Well, actually, shades and blinds for skylights can only control the sun’senergy as it enters the room or the space beneath those skylights, but that’s better than nothing. Your skylights are great for washing an area with light and heat, but there are times you might like to turn off the rays during a bright or hot day. So, where’s the switch?

There is new technology that can make the glass in windows and skylights darker or lighter by electromagnetic engineering (smart glass or switchable glass) embedded within the glass material itself, and these do, in fact, have a switch. But, the simplest and by far the least expensive method of controlling the sun’s rays is with either mechanical shades or blinds.

The difference between shades and blinds for skylights and windows is simple to remember. Blinds are thin slats of wood, plastic or other material with rope-like “draw strings” so that these slats can be raised, lowered and rotated.

Shades are continuous material or fabric, either pleated (like lampshades) or drapery-like and can only be raised and lowered.

Both types of coverings stack at the top or bottom of the window or skylight when fully open. The image at the top is of blinds in varyingdegrees of closure. Also, both can be operated by either an extension pole (or by hand if you’re in an RV), a switch located on a wall or a remote control device, similar to the TV remote. Remember; Venetian blinds, lampshades.

There are many benefits to having either shades or blinds, not the least of which is the green aspect. Having the ability to block the sun’s rays offers a significant savings in air conditioning costs and restricts heat loss in cooler times. In fact, in some areas, heating and cooling expenses can be cut as much as 80% simply by installing insulated blinds! There are even translucent shades and blinds engineered to block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, keep your interior comfy AND still allow light in when closed!

So, when you’re searching online or shopping for either shades or blinds for skylights keep in mind these few things:

Shading Coefficient, shows the heat flow into your home (or RV). A shading coefficient of 0.40 means that 60% of the sun’s heat remains outdoors. The lower the SC the better.

R Value, indicates heat flow. A wood blind might have an R Value of around 3, a thick fabric shade maybe around 5 or 6. The higher the R Value the better.

UV Light Transmission, is not visible light, but can damage or fade colors and can cause cancers if absorbed in high enough quantities. Blocking UV rays with window coatings or closing the shades during direct sun exposure is a good thing.

Visible Light Transmission is the light we can see. This too is measured and rated (from 0 to 1). Most windows are between 0.30 and 0.70. The lower the value, the darker the area.

For more on this or to see what’s out there, search blinds for skylights,shades for skylights or window shade technology using the Bing Custom Search Box right -> and take control of the light!.

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Updated: February 6, 2014 — 4:39 am

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